Horse lovers are in luck when the BFI London Film Festival comes to the capital next month (4-15 October 2017), with three equestrian-themed films on the line-up

1. Lean On Pete (pictured, above)

What’s the plot?

Director Andrew Haigh’s fourth feature film tells the tale of a lonely, neglected 15-year-old boy, Charley Thompson, who is on a quest to find a home. It is adapted from Willy Vlautin’s novel about a Huckleberry Finn-esque journey across America’s sparse Northwest. Charley has rarely stayed in the same place for more than a year, having been left by his mother as a child. He lives with his father who loves him but doesn’t understand just how much Charley craves and needs stability (not to mention food). Taking a part-time job with a cantankerous and not entirely on the up-and-up horse trainer, he forms a deep bond with nearly-knackered horse Lean On Pete.

Where can you watch it?

Thursday 5 October 2017, 8.45pm, Embankment Garden Cinema
Friday 6 October 2017 2pm, Embankment Garden Cinema

2. Thoroughbreds

What’s the plot?

Don’t expect 91 minutes of relaxing viewing with director Cory Finley’s Thoroughbreds — as one review says, “taut, tense and deliciously nasty, my little pony this ain’t”. Instead the story follows two teenage girls who reignite a childhood friendship, with a dark ending. One of the bored young women has already killed a horse, and together they dream up the idea to kill someone they don’t like…

Where can you watch it?

Monday 9 October 2017 8.30pm, Embankment Garden Cinema
Tuesday 10 October 2017 11am, Embankment Garden Cinema
Wednesday 11 October 2017 9pm, Curzon Mayfair Cinema, Screen 1

Continued below…

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3. The Rider

What’s the plot?

The Rider tells the story of a young South Dakotan cowboy’s struggle following a rodeo injury and his broken dreams. Directed by Chloé Zhao, the film takes you on cowboy Brady Jandreau’s journey after a near fatal rodeo accident means that doctors order him not to ride again. Brady struggles to leave the sport he loves and the film focuses on his moving interaction with the horses and his tight community of fellow-riders. It offers an insight into America’s enthralling cowboy culture and gives an archetypal story of a young man redefining his hopes and ambitions.

Where can you watch it?

Thursday 12 October 2017 6.15pm, Picturehouse Central, Screen 1
Friday 13 October 2017 8.45, Curzon Mayfair Cinema, Screen 1
Saturday 14 October 2017 11.30am, Vue Leicester Square Cinema, Screen 7

Find out more about the BFI London Film Festival at whatson.bfi.org.uk

For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday